CHARLOTTE — Before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster deal back in the beginning of December, before his brief cup of coffee at the major-league level with the Nationals towards the end of the second half of 2016, Lucas Giolito pitched for the Syracuse Chiefs.
The Chiefs are the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, and Giolito made seven starts for them during the 2016 season before being called up to the Nationals late in 2016. Giolito was 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA for the Chiefs, striking out 40 and walking just 10 hitters during his time there.
Tonight, Giolito was on the hill for his new club, the Charlotte Knights as they hosted the Syracuse Chiefs in a twin-billing at BB&T Park in Uptown Charlotte. Giolito has struggled for the Knights early-on as he works on shedding the changes that he spent making during the 2016 season at the request of the Washington Nationals. Giolito was 1-5 entering this evening’s ballgame against the Chiefs, but Giolito rose to the occasion in a big way, tossing a seven inning no-hitter against his former ball club.
For those not familiar, double headers are only seven innings in length at the Triple-A level. Giolito opened the first inning by striking out Andrew Stevenson, and inducing a ground-out against Adrian Sanchez before walking Brandon Snyder. Giolito retired first-baseman Clint Robinson via the strikeout to end the first inning.
The second inning saw Giolito retire the Chiefs in order on a pair of fly-outs and a ground-out as the Knights held a 1-0 lead after two innings of play. The third inning was more of the same for Giolito, retiring the Chiefs hitters in short order, again on a pair of fly-outs and a ground-out. The Knights added two more in the home half of the third inning on a Danny Hayes two-run home run to extend their lead to 3-0.
In the top of the fourth inning Giolito induced fly-outs from Adrian Sanchez, Brandon Snyder and Clint Robinson, his third consecutive 1-2-3 inning. After getting Pedro Severino to ground out for out number one of the fifth inning, Giolito walked Corban Joseph to end his streak of 11 consecutive Syracuse hitters retired. Giolito would work around the walk and retire Grant Green and Caleb Ramsey to end the fifth inning with his no-hit bid still intact.
Giolito went back to his quick working ways in the top of the sixth inning, retiring Irving Falu, Andrew Stevenson and Adrian Sanchez on a fly-out, ground-out and strike out respectively. The Knights would score in the bottom of the sixth inning on an Adam Engel solo homer, giving Charlotte a 4-0 lead after six innings.
After retiring the first two hitters in the top of the seventh inning Giolito walked Chiefs’ catcher Pedro Severino on a full count before getting Corban Joseph to ground out to end the ball game and secure the victory and his no-hit bid.
Giolito moved to 2-5 on the season with a 5.44 ERA, allowing no runs and no hits over the course of his seven innings of work as the Knights beat the Chiefs 4-0 on Thursday evening. While Giolito’s numbers are still underwhelming to this point as a whole, tonight was a glimpse of what the White Sox number two prospect is capable of when he gets his mechanics and delivery down.